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Old 19-04-2017, 13:21   #1
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Question Solar Time! Take a look and let me know if I got this right?

Ok! After our last "on the hook" excursion - I'm reasonably certain that I would be well-served by a single (or more at a later time) 100w Solar panel to assist my (2) 12v house batteries that are hooked up in parallel.

If you visit this link:
http://worldcat.com/wp-content/uploa...nersManual.pdf

and go to page 5-4 (page number at bottom of each page)... you'll see the wiring diagram for the batteries on my boat.

Then... if you got o page 3-3 you'll see the battery switch controller.

The controller on the solar system has a single positive output and a single negative output. Do I simply feed the the positive output to the positive house battery lead as shown on 5-4 and DC Accessory Ground for negative?

Just checking on account of the battery switching system, etc.

Thanks,
Pete
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Old 19-04-2017, 13:50   #2
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Re: Solar Time! Take a look and let me know if I got this right?

100w of solar into 2 x type 31s will need a solar controller or you will over charge the batteries. There are three types, really cheap on/off switch which are best avoided. PWM types which will do and are inexpensive. Finally MPPT which may improve the efficiency of the solar charging system. Over the past few years the price of MPPT controllers has dropped and now worth fitting rather than the less efficient PWM type. Suggest something like this although there are lots of different makes on the market.

https://www.victronenergy.com/solar-...llers/mppt7510

or

SunSaver MPPT - Morningstar Corporation

Do you want the solar panel to charge the batteries when you are away from the boat? if so then the wiring needs to connect to the house battery side of the switches and be fused. Also consider the shortest wiring run possible and the size of wiring to reduce losses.
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Old 19-04-2017, 13:55   #3
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Re: Solar Time! Take a look and let me know if I got this right?

The package I'm looking at is PWM... however, I will check out the MPPT now...
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Old 19-04-2017, 14:09   #4
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Re: Solar Time! Take a look and let me know if I got this right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PetePetePete View Post
The package I'm looking at is PWM... however, I will check out the MPPT now...
Some of those MPPT controllers are better than others. If it's under $90 don't waste your time. The best low price one I've found seems to be the EPEVER and comes in a 10A, 20A, and 30A variety. All right around $100 give or take from different vendors. Yes, it's a Chinese, but not a piece of junk like many others. The optional display gives you the ability to see data faster and also do some light settings changes. You can also do this from a laptop with a .99 cent dongle.

MPPT gives you a much higher efficiency out of your panel by converting voltage to amps.
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Old 19-04-2017, 14:40   #5
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Re: Solar Time! Take a look and let me know if I got this right?

I'm thinking this one?

Victron-BlueSolar-MPPT-75-15-15-Amp-Solar-Charge-Controller

It can handle up to 2 100w panels (the most I would have ever have)... and is under $80.

If memory serves me, Victon is a good brand. I was also planning on using their DC gauge and the battery alarm.

Seems like a good fit? Or am I missing something?
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Old 19-04-2017, 14:52   #6
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Re: Solar Time! Take a look and let me know if I got this right?

Haven't read the manual on the victron, but they have a good rep.

By the time you buy the accessories you're well over the cost of the other one that has a display already.
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Old 19-04-2017, 14:56   #7
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Re: Solar Time! Take a look and let me know if I got this right?

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Originally Posted by Seeking Solace View Post
Haven't read the manual on the victron, but they have a good rep.

By the time you buy the accessories you're well over the cost of the other one that has a display already.
Understood!
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Old 20-04-2017, 20:23   #8
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Re: Solar Time! Take a look and let me know if I got this right?

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Originally Posted by PetePetePete View Post
I'm thinking this one?



Victron-BlueSolar-MPPT-75-15-15-Amp-Solar-Charge-Controller



It can handle up to 2 100w panels (the most I would have ever have)... and is under $80.



If memory serves me, Victon is a good brand. I was also planning on using their DC gauge and the battery alarm.



Seems like a good fit? Or am I missing something?


I have this one. Running just one 100W panel now, will probably add another.

It's on 24/7. Works great, no issues. Good tech support.
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Old 20-04-2017, 20:26   #9
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Re: Solar Time! Take a look and let me know if I got this right?

And also good apps and a USB interface which I have hooked to a RaspberryPI via SignalK to collect all kinds of great historical data.
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Old 20-04-2017, 20:28   #10
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Re: Solar Time! Take a look and let me know if I got this right?

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And also good apps and a USB interface which I have hooked to a RaspberryPI via SignalK to collect all kinds of great historical data.


https://www.wilhelmsk.com/single-pos...a-into-SignalK
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Old 21-04-2017, 05:25   #11
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Re: Solar Time! Take a look and let me know if I got this right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbender View Post
This is what I'm doing!! Great link!!

I actually am doing the dongle instead of gauge of any kind.

So...

I have this panel coming:

NewPowa 100 Watts 100W Solar Panel 12V
Which is found here:
https://www.amazon.com/Newpowa-Solar.../dp/B00L6LZRXM
(eBay is cheaper)

I am mating this to the Victron 75/15 MPPT and using the Bluetooth dongle to control it and also set alarms so I know if the battery is dropping below a certain point. (I am correct that the dongle app will give me the alarm, correct?)

My next question is about panel placement. Obviously this is super important... and it is becoming REALLY hard for me to decide. Here's a few pictures of the boat:


-

-


I understand that at the very top of the tower is likely the "best" spot (aside from the shadow caused by the radar array)... however, I really don't want it up there. My intention is to not keep it on the boat all the time, so something that is reasonably easy to take on and off would be my goal.

Something off the back of the tower is what I would like the most because it is out of the way, however then I have to assume that I will have literally have 50/50 chance (?) of a shadow caused by the tower itself?!??

Which then leads me to the front rail?

Thoughts?
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Old 21-04-2017, 06:23   #12
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Re: Solar Time! Take a look and let me know if I got this right?

I am not a fan of front rail mounting one. There are too many reasons to begin to list. Off the side is better, but still not good IMHO. Is there enough height to get roof top level and still easily pass under it?

If you plan to expand it to more panels later you'll want to consider that when you place one. The last thing you want to do is have to move them over and over. I had a hard time finding suitable hardware that I felt would hold the weight and load. Ultimately I decided to use the stern rail. Doesn't look like an option on yours. Have you found a similar boat with solar to get an idea from yet?
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Old 21-04-2017, 06:28   #13
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Re: Solar Time! Take a look and let me know if I got this right?

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Originally Posted by Seeking Solace View Post
I am not a fan of front rail mounting one. There are too many reasons to begin to list. Off the side is better, but still not good IMHO. Is there enough height to get roof top level and still easily pass under it?

If you plan to expand it to more panels later you'll want to consider that when you place one. The last thing you want to do is have to move them over and over. I had a hard time finding suitable hardware that I felt would hold the weight and load. Ultimately I decided to use the stern rail. Doesn't look like an option on yours. Have you found a similar boat with solar to get an idea from yet?
I haven't found anyone do it on a similar boat yet... but I'll start looking at google images a bit more!

My idea for the front rail was sort of cady-corner (here the front meets the side) rail... right on top - flat (facing the sky). The issue there is that you can NOT run with it like that or the airflow will destroy things. Which is fine since I wasn't planning to use it when I was running... but in a perfect world I would MUCH rather have it in a place where I didn't have to take it down as often - hence... of the back of the tower... I can easily fabricate something modular with aluminum stock... but I *really* think the shadow from the tower could pose a problem.

I'm going to see if I can find ideas by looking at other people's images.
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Old 21-04-2017, 06:34   #14
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Re: Solar Time! Take a look and let me know if I got this right?

Unless you plan on sitting in one place for days that bow is a bad choice.

A shadow can knock the panel down to zero in a hurry too. Try to plan something that works while getting there too.
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Old 21-04-2017, 09:24   #15
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Re: Solar Time! Take a look and let me know if I got this right?

Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Eclipse Solar Premium Kit

https://jet.com/product/detail/c7188...a:2&code=PLA15

I am looking into the same thing as we want to do more coastal cruising and anchor in more remote areas like Drakes Bay, for a few days and it would be nice to not have to run the engine as it is a nature preserve and it is so quiet. What do people think of this setup in link above as a system?
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